Hans Von Seekt was at the center of an effort to rebuild the German army after World War I.
Born into a noble Prussian family in Schleswig, Germany on April 22, 1866, von Seekt rose quickly in the German army.
During World War I, he served in several top-level staff positions.
After World War I
After the war he became the senior military advisor to German delegation at Versailles. The Treaty of Versailles ended World War I.
He was a leading authority and critic on the treaty. The treaty got rid of Germany’s air force and imposed limits on the size, makeup and arms of the army and navy.
In July 1919, von Seekt became chief of the troop office of the Army Command. He planned for a 100,000-man army and oversaw its training.
Rebuilding the Army
He set high standards for personnel, training and military doctrine. He worked, secretly, with the Soviet Union to train German tank and aircraft crews.
Despite the limits of the Versailles Treaty, he rebuilt a strong postwar German army. This army would be the nucleus for the expansion of the army under Hitler.
In 1921, von Seekt, wrote his military theories in “Command of Combined Arms Combat.” It was a collection of his field service regulations.
It became a classic of military doctrine. It would be the blueprint for blitzkrieg and the operational and tactical success of the Wehrmacht (the German army) in the early phases of World War II.
Advisor to Chinese Army
Von Seekt retired in 1926. He returned to military life in 1934. He went to China to help train the Chinese Army of Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist government.
He modernized the Chinese Army. Chinese troops put up a solid resistance against Japanese invaders in the late 1930s.
Von Seekt was the “architect” of the German army of World War II. He died in Berlin in 1936.